Apple has been fined €1.8bn ($2bn) by the EU following an investigation into allegations that it placed unfair restrictions on music-streaming rivals such as Spotify. 

The European Commission imposed the fine after finding that the iPhone maker had broken competition law by placing curbs on app developers operating in its App Store. 

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said Apple had abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of music streaming apps for a decade. 

“They did so by restricting developers from informing consumers about alternative, cheaper music services available outside of the Apple ecosystem,” Vestager said. 

Spotify filed a complaint against the tech giant in 2019, claiming that Apple purposefully prevented developers from telling users about alternative ways of subscribing to music streaming services outside of Apple. 

The music streaming giant said Apple’s App Store rules “purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience”. Spotify alleged that Apple purposefully held back other app developers for its gain.

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The imposed restrictions unfairly attracted users to Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music, Spotify alleged. 

Apple has opposed the EU’s fine in a statement, claiming the regulators had failed to “uncover any credible evidence of consumer harm, and ignores the realities of a market that is thriving, competitive, and growing fast.”

“It essentially introduces a list of prohibited behaviours, like self-preferencing, or using competitor’s data to gain an advantageous position,” Laura Petrone, analyst at research and analysis company GlobalData, previously told Verdict.

The Act has put in rules to ensure users can easily unsubscribe from core platform services, banned software installation by default alongside operating systems and ensured alternative in-app payment systems is permitted.